Here at TKO, we’re passionate about trade shows. We want to share our experience, offer our advice, and build you, the customer, the best trade show booth or event possible. In the past, we’ve shared 10 Ways to Improve Your Trade Show Results, and 6 Tips for Trade Show Follow up Success and more. Today’s post is a simple marketing trade show checklist. If you’re like us, you’ve arrived at a show and realized there was something you’d forgotten (hopefully it wasn’t your display!) We want all of our clients, customers, and readers to get the most out of every show they exhibit in. You spend a lot of time and money preparing for a show, and this little checklist could help make easier and go smoother.

Create a Unified Message

Marketing materials should work together, not fight each other for attendee’s attention. They should tell a story and lead people into your booth not shout at them and confuse them or worse yet scare them away. Together your marketing materials should tell a story and share a message, but to do so, you first must identify your primary purpose. Why are you exhibiting at this show? Is it to meet new prospects, catch up with existing customers, check out the competition, or work closely with a vendor? Regardless, creating a message with your marketing materials begins with knowing what message you want to send.  Here are the basics of booth marketing material.

Marketing Trade Show Checklist — Display

     ____Booth display

     ____Banners and banner stands

     ____Branded carpet

    ____ Printed tables and stools

    ____ Logoed table cloth or runner


     ____Print collateral, brochures, raffle cards, and flyers

Do You Have SWAG?

If you want to draw people into your booth, you need to give them a reason.  A business I worked with held a drawing with a grand prize of a top of the line gas grill. It was a great grill, and many attendees signed up to win it. The drawing box overflowed. Unfortunately, the grill absolutely had nothing to do with the company’s product. Do you care to guess what the results were when the “prospects” were called? The grill didn’t generate interest in the company’s products or services, and it didn’t generate any leads. People wanted the grill – not the product the company had to offer.

If you want to attract your target audience, then offer a product that might attract those prospects. For example, if you’re a B2B tech company offer a free package of your services as your raffle prize. In so doing, the people who sign up will have some interest in your product.

Marketing Trade Show Checklist — Promotional

     ____ Specialty giveaway items  

     ____ Discounted products or services

     ____ Raffle prizes

     ____ Apparel for staff

      ____Promotional caps, shirts, and tee’s

Before Your Next Trade Show

Before your next trade show take some time to stop and consider the message you want to share and how your trade show marketing components will support your call to action. Promotional SWAG should complement print collateral, banners and booth display should work together to present your brand and tell a story. If they don’t, you may be missing a golden opportunity.

If you’d like to learn more Contact Us.  But be forewarned, we aren’t holding a raffle for a grill.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash